Françoise Gilot (French, 1921-2023)

Gilot was a painter whose work was often unfairly overshadowed by her relationship with Pablo Picasso, whom she met at 21 when the artist was 61. She was already a notable painter before they became romantically involved. Introduced to art and culture at a young age by her parents, Gilot attended the Sorbonne, the British Institute in Paris, and Cambridge University in philosophy, English literature, and international law. In her art practice, Gilot created organic figures as opposed to the angular lines of the Cubist style popular with other French Modernists.

Photographed by Robert Capa alongside Picasso, she asserts herself as a prominent artist of her own accord. Gilot would later receive the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 1990, join the Board of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California, and write a memoir, Life with Picasso—the publication of which Picasso tried to block. She continued to paint until her death in June 2023 at the age of 101.